App review: Bob Books #1 Reading Magic

R. has been really into this Bob Books #1 Reading Magic app.  The app includes 32 words in twelve scenes.

So it starts like this, with a black and white picture and gray words. If you don’t do anything it makes a little sound and the images move to get your attention.

Touching Sam brings you to this page, where you can match letters to spell the word.  I have it set for Level 1 and to say the letters phonetically.  Each time a letter or the box where the letter goes is touched the app speaks the letter.

After the word is spelled, the item changes to color.

You are taken back to the first page with the phrase on it, and the drawing of Sam is colored in, and the word Sam is black.  The cat drawing is black and white, and the word cat is gray.  The cat will make a little sound and move if you do not select it right away.

Then you can spell cat, just like the previous word.


The cat turns to color after the word is spelled.

When the entire phrase has been spelled, the picture changes to color, the entire phrase turns black and the figures move a little.

There are 4 levels of play.  We are using Level 1-Drag and drop letters to match.  Level 2 is learn left to right order.  Level 3 is spell without visual hints.  Level 4 is Pick letters to spell words.

There is the option to turn on and off the background music and sound effects.  You can turn on and off the options for the objects to wiggle to give hints.  You can also choose to have the app speak the letter names or phonic sounds.

I was surprised at how much R. likes this app.  I thought the pictures might be too simple, but she plays it all the time on her own.  I don’t understand using names like Dot or Mat in phrases.  But I do know these Bob Books predate the ipad.